POLITICS

Disgraced Mountie monitored, says deputy commissioner

05/24/2012 06:54 EDT | Updated 07/24/2012 05:12 EDT
VANCOUVER, B.C., - B.C.'s top Mountie says he agreed to allow a disgraced Alberta officer to work under his command.

Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens said Thursday the decision wasn't an easy one, but one that somebody had to show leadership on.

A report this week by an internal disciplinary board reprimanded Sgt. Don Ray for having sex with subordinates, exposing himself to a co-worker and drinking on the job

The sergeant was demoted one rank, fined 10 days pay but not fired because the board said he deserved a break as a result of his long years of service and support from other Mounties.

"While others may have looked at the circumstances and simply decided that it was not their problem and to let someone else deal with it, that is not my way or how I lead, and it is not what I expect of my leaders," Callens told a news conference.

"I expect that when faced with a challenge, they will step up and not step back."

Callens said he had the potential to say No, but he "didn't consider the transfer a simple Yes or No issue." He said he was consulted on the matter last fall.

"Accepting the transfer into this division was done with the confidence that we could provide the type of oversight and supervision that would ensure that the sanctions that have been imposed on him are having the desired affect," said Callens.

"And let me tell you, if they are not having the desired effect, he will face the consequences very quickly, as anyone else would."

He said if Ray reoffends in the way in which he did in Alberta, he will be immediately removed from duty, and will be suspended without pay and benefits. Callins said he would also seek the sergeant's dismissal from the force.

Callens said currently, Ray won't work provincially or be assigned in a municipal force, but will work in a federal area of responsibility under supervision.

Meanwhile, Callens said RCMP Cpl. Benjamin "Monty," Robinson, who was convicted in March of obstruction of justice in the death of a young motorcyclist in Delta, B.C., was informed Thursday morning that the deputy commissioner had recommended he be suspended without pay.

Robinson admitted to taking two shots of vodka to "calm his nerves'' after the accident and before he gave himself up to investigating officers.

The court heard testimony that Robinson would have known those actions can be used to cover up drunk driving.

A year before the traffic accident, Robinson was the senior officer in charge when Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski was jolted several times with an RCMP Taser and died at Vancouver's airport.

Robinson and three fellow officers still face perjury charges and are accused of lying under oath in that case.

Last month, Callens told a gathering of journalists efforts were made years ago to suspend Robinson, but they were rejected at RCMP headquartes in Ottawa.

"Now he's convicted of obstruction of justice and so I say to myself, a reasonable-minded Canadian, a British Columbian, is outraged by that. I'm outraged by that,'' the deputy commissioner said then.

Callens said Thursday the force is currently working on a 50-point action plan to increase accountability of members and ensures the force will be a respectful place to work.

The plan will provide members with opportunities to raise concerns in ways not allowed historically and in ways that will prevent retribution and ensure safety and confidentiality.

Callens said the report should be completed in 10 to 14 days, and members will be briefed before details are released to the media and public.

Since last fall at least five lawsuits have been filed by current and former female Mounties against the RCMP.

Historic cases and decisions made years ago and by others will continue to come forward, warned Callens.

"I cannot change some of those decisions," said Callens. "I cannot turn back the clock."

Earlier this week, the RCMP disciplinary board's report found Ray admitted to seven counts of disgraceful conduct on the job between 2006 and 2009.

They include stocking the office with rum and beer and offering drinks to subordinates, having sex with a civilian subordinate and exposing himself to a co-worker.

Ray said he had sex with a different co-worker in the headquarters' polygraph office after drinking beer and had sex inside a car in a parking lot with another employee after visiting a pub.

He also made inappropriate sexual comments to a woman subordinate, including remarks about her sex life with her husband.

The report noted the statements made to the board by the victims are troubling, revealing wounds that will take time and attention to heal.

It also said Ray's actions have discredited the RCMP, and that his actions have set a poor example.